Hello! The project is in good progress.
I performed some sea trials along the summer. All in good sea conditions and engine
powered. Only Auto mode was tested, not track mode. As a result I identified room for improvement in the following areas,
I realized calibration of the electronic compass
is not so easy when it is installed on boat. In consequence, the accurancy of the IMU was unstable and by design, the autopilot disengaged automatically and raised an alarm
. Initial calibration was automatically restored and ready to start autopilot operations again. I could not get the autopilot working for more than 2 minutes without stopping automatically for this reason.
In consequence, I took the decission to implement some changes:
- Autopilot will only automatically restore calibration in Stand-by mode, never in operation (Auto or Track).
calibration status will be displayed through Android App, in order to warn user in case of low accurancy.
- Calibration functionality implemented in Android App, laptop
connection is not required anymore.
I also perceived that main button design as multi-function button was not so great idea. Depending on autopilot status, pressing this button would trigger different actions, some of them causing the turn of the boat. This represented a risk of turning by error with associate safety
To minimize this risk, I changed the behaviour of the main button of the Android App, this can only connect the autopilot to keep current
heading or disengage the autopilot, but never a turn.
I also worked in the implementation of buttons for tacking start/portboard.
The performance of the autopilot with the initial PID values was low. Too slow reaction to bearing changes. I changed the values by test and error method and behaviour improved significantly, but I feel that there should be an auto-tunning functionality to help finding best values to each PID parameter.
The performance of the autopilot with the initial PID values was low. Too slow reaction to bearing changes. I changed the values by test and error method and behaviour improved significantly, but I felt that there should be an auto-tunning functionality to help finding best values to each PID parameter.
In conclusion, new functionalities and improvements of the Android App,
Calibration of linear actuator and compass.
Star/portboard tacking buttons.
Improved design of the screens/ buttons.
Still to do,
Method Performance auto-tunning
For more info, you can check the user manual,
There are some videos available in youtube,